The future may be more amazing than we can imagine (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to these shows and we will hold John Hogue’s feet to the fire–as usual–any day now!) First, tires that fix their own flats: these could be inspired by a tree called the Weeping Benjamin. When attacked by insects or suffering other mechanical damage, the trees emit a thick mess of latex particles that contain capsules of the protein hevein.
Cars that fix their own dents, now tires that heal themselves! This would also solve a major trash problem affecting the environment.
French researchers have created a new artificial rubber, made of vegetable oil and other ingredients (one of which is urine), which can repair itself even when it is cut in half. In BBC News, Roland Pease describes the process: “Using a razor blade [one of the inventors] severed a thin strand of the yellowish material (the color of corn oil), showed me the clean square faces, and then pressed them together.” The two halves immediately stuck together again. Soon, if you get a nail in your tire, you may be able to simply remove it and press the hole closed?and drive away!
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk